life history

Natural history of Hoplodactylus stephensi (Reptilia: Gekkonidae) on Stephens Island, Cook Strait, New Zealand

The striped gecko (Hoplodactylus stephensi) is one of the rarest and most elusive of New Zealand’s lizards. It is currently known from just three locations; Stephens Island (Takapourewa) in Cook Strait, Maud Island in Pelorus Sound, and the Coromandel Peninsula. The striped gecko is a relatively poorly studied species with little data available on many aspects of its biology. We report on the first estimate of longevity in H. stephensi (a minimum of 16 years) and provide baseline data on population structure, habitat use, morphometrics and pregnancy rate.

Extreme longevity of the common gecko (Hoplodactylus maculatus) on Motunau Island, Canterbury, New Zealand

The longevity of common geckos (Hoplodactylus maculatus) on predator-free Motunau Island, North Canterbury, was investigated. Sixteen of 133 individuals marked between 1967-75 were re-captured in the summer of 1996/97. A growth curve was generated to estimate the age of these geckos at first capture, and from this their age in 1996/97; 10 were estimated to be at least 36 years old. In this cool-temperate habitat, H. maculatus matures late and has a low annual reproductive output over an extended lifespan.